1987 USA Key to the City of Chicago to Director Peter Wood


A fine piece of vintage American history in the form of a cased bronze key, representing the Freedom of the City of Chicago, Illinois and which was presented to the British Film Director Peter Wood in 1987, by the Mayor Harold Washington.

The key comes in a rectangular black leather effect box, with red and black velour interior. The key is engraved of the shank: HAROLD WASHINGTON, MAYOR. The bow (handle) has the seal of the city, with CITY OF CHICAGO – INCORPORATED 4TH MARCH 1837. There is also a brass plaque on the inside of the lid engraved: PREENTED TO PETER WOOD – JULY 9, 1987, with HAROLD WASHINGTON, MAYOR – CITY OF CHICAGO and a engraved facsimile of his signature. The condition is near perfect, with only minor wear to the transfer seal on the lid of the box. It comes with an 8 x 10 inch (20 x 25 cm) black and white photo of Harold Washington.

The Key to the Freedom of a City honours distinguished people, guests and outstanding civic contributors. The presentation of a Key to the City can be traced back to medieval times when cities were enclosed by walls and locked gates. By the middle of the 1800's, it became customary to give a Key to the City as an important official symbol of the city's wish that a guest be recognised and feel free to come and go at will.

Peter Wood (1925-2016) was an English theatre and film director. He won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Director in 1986 for ‘The American Clock’ and was nominated for many other awards.

Harold Lee Washington (1922-1987) was an American lawyer and politician, elected as the 51st Mayor of Chicago in February 1983.He was the first African-American to serve as Mayor of Chicago and was in office until his death. He was also a member of the US House of Representatives from 1981-1983.

Size Box: 27.5 x 11.5 x 5 cm (10 ¾ x 6 x 4 ½ inches)
Weight: 730 g